NEPD Staff Writer Joon Lee
I have a man-crush on Danny Woodhead. There I said it. Sure, he isn’t the flashiest back on the Patriots (that goes to Stevan Ridley), not the biggest, but he is one of the most important parts of the Patriots offense.
For years, writers and fans adored running back Kevin Faulk. He was a quintessential New England Patriots. For years, the guy was a grinder, a guy who the Patriots could rely on in tough situations and could be counted on for consistent yardage. Woodhead has been called the second-coming of Kevin Faulk. And he is. Danny Woodhead is Kevin Faulk 2.0.
Look, when the Patriots call the Woodhead draw play in the 3rd and 4th quarter, I moan in frustration. The play isn’t exciting, chances of a break out play is slim and it looks as if the Patriots are just eating time off the clock. I hate it as much as the next guy, but it’s a job that Faulk did so well for so many years.
Just take a look at the statistics, Woodhead and Faulk stats are so close, it is almost scary. Lets take a look at each of the running backs at their best. Woodhead had his best year in 2010 after first joining the Patriots when he ran for 547 yards on 96 attempts and had 5 rushing touchdowns. Receiving, Woodhead had 44 catches for 379 yards and a touchdown.
Faulk had his best year in 2000 when he ran for 570 yards on 164 attempts and 4 rushing touchdowns. Receiving, Faulk had 51 catches for 465 yards and a touchdown.
Sure Danny Woodhead isn’t the most exciting guy on the Patriots. He is a short, white guy running the ball in a game full of giants running at full sprint. In regards to Woodhead’s height, I had the chance to talk to him this summer and in cleats, he was no taller than me, and I am 5’6.5, So the guy is shorter than listed and not the biggest guy on the field. But he sure as hell can run the ball down the field and he is the second Kevin Faulk.
If I were the Patriots, I would start thinking about signing Woodhead to a long term extension. Woodhead plays a crucial part of the offensive gameplan as a safety blanket for Brady on the screen and run those dreaded draw plays to run down the clock.